Katherine Brunt: England bowler announces retirement from Test cricket

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End of an era: Katherine Brunt is England’s third-highest Test wicket taker of all time (AFP via Getty Images)
End of an era: Katherine Brunt is England’s third-highest Test wicket taker of all time (AFP via Getty Images)

England Women bowler Katherine Brunt has announced her retirement from Test cricket.

The legendary Yorkshire seamer turns 37 in July and has decided to walk away from the longest format of the game, but intends to continue competing in ODI and T20 matches for the foreseeable future.

She is England Women’s third-leading Test wicket-taker ever with 51 scalps since her debut in 2004, with only Mary Duggan and Myrtle Maclagan having taken more. Brunt has recorded 98 dismissals in 96 matches for her country across all formats to date.

Brunt’s Test retirement follows fellow England bowling great Anya Shrubsole’s decision to quit international cricket altogether after the World Cup final defeat by Australia in April.

"I feel like as an athlete there is never an obvious time to step away from doing the thing that you love,” Brunt said.

"But over the past two years thoughts of retirement have surfaced more and more, so I’ve decided to make a smart decision rather than an emotional one. Test cricket is my absolute passion and to retire from this format was truly a heart-breaking choice to make, but it allows me to prioritise white-ball cricket.

"I know that I leave it in a great place, the bowlers coming through are ready and they’re just itching to be let loose! And with the South Africa game around the corner, I’m very much looking forward to watching them from the best seat in the house."

Director of England Women's cricket Jonathan Finch hailed Brunt’s enduring passion and commitment and backed her decision to focus solely on the shorter formats of the game moving forward.

"Katherine’s passion and commitment was never more evident than when she played Test cricket for England and you only need to watch the last Ashes Test to see her desire, her heart and her undoubted ability with the red ball in hand,” he said.”

"She has given everything for England Women in Test cricket and we are fully supportive of her decision to focus on white-ball cricket on the international stage. Katherine can leave the red ball behind knowing she is a true legend in that form of the game and that she has set standards that future generations can only aspire to."

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